A gift card? Toaster? Now banks are even offering cash, as much as $200, to open a new account with them. But, could that be a come-on? Smart shoppers don’t succumb to come-ons.
This economy may make cash offers for opening an account sound very attractive, but right around the corner is new legislation that is limiting banks in their charges for overdrafts and regulating their credit cards offerings. So maybe that cash offer is a last ditch effort to lure you in before those laws take effect. Then you’ll be subject to higher overdraft charges, at least for the time being, and may get a credit card that is not subject to new regulations.
So don’t be lured. Here’s what you should think about when you choose to open a bank account.
- You should not have to keep a minimum balance in your account. That just opens you up to transfer fees and overdrafts fees.
- Using direct deposit should not be a term for opening the account. It just makes it harder for you to change banks.
- You should not be required to have a minimum number of purchases on a debit card issued to you through your account. That means you’ll pay a lot of fees on the use of the card.
In fact, most people who are suckered into opening a new bank account because of up-front gifts usually don’t even qualify for the premium package that will allow you to collect the gift. But, once you’re in the door, the bank will sell you services which you may not need and which will probably cost you in the long run.
A credit union may be a better deal for you than a bank. First, credit unions use less marketing because they are non-profit organizations. Credit unions also have generally lower fees, lower interest rates, and more personalized service. Check out the Credit Union National Association’s website to find a credit union that you can join.
Share and Enjoy